Our expert panel has gathered to answer viewer questions with the help of the writings of eighteenth-century spiritual teacher Emanuel Swedenborg.
The panel members are:
- Curtis Childs, host of Swedenborg & Life
- Chara Daum, Latin consultant, New Century Edition
- Chris Dunn, community manager for Swedenborg & Life
- Karin Childs, writer for Swedenborg & Life
Questions and answers are summarized below; please follow the links for the full discussion.
Even angels can find themselves drifting from the Lord, and when we drift, we might worry about how we’ll get back. Since heaven is a relationship with God, it’s important to be sure that there are no blockages that can get in the way of the divine love that flows through us. We might also find ourselves worrying about others we care about, just as we do here on earth, and hoping that they’ve also found their way to heaven. Remember that angels are human, so it’s understandable that they would have the same kinds of questions and concerns that we have in the natural world.
All worthwhile religions are fundamentally about love, and love will serve us well in heaven. Religion is a tool to organize how we think about life, and like any tool, it can be useful and it can be dangerous. But done well, it can be a recipe for doing good and serving our purpose here on earth and in heaven. As for being surprised about whether your religion was wrong or not, bending one’s understanding to come to terms with how things really are is a gradual process.
Swedenborg describes the transition in detail, and he makes it clear that we’ll be immediately welcomed by a community of angels who will show us unconditional love. We’ll also encounter communities of people who are similar to us, which will most likely contain our loved ones.
Even here on earth, we are already in spiritual communities and always moving upward. A partner who dies first doesn’t move up any faster—they just can see their progress more clearly in the afterlife. Remember that there’s no time in the afterlife. If minds and hearts are connected, they stay connected across both physical and spiritual worlds.
The world of spirits is the closest to us here on earth, and it is where we figure out who we are and so do most of our thinking. Our thoughts are all influenced by the communities around us, and the world of spirits is filled with earthly thoughts. In heaven, though, our hearts and minds are in sync, things are in order, and we have a sense of peace and relief.
Since God is infinite, God has no beginning and end. Swedenborg most often referred to Jesus Christ as the Lord. God is pure love itself, and it’s hard for a human to understand or relate with that. It’s like hugging the sun! So the Lord Jesus Christ allows humans to interface with that pure love.
While there are always going to be people similar to us, heaven is all about wanting the well-being of everybody. We will find the group where we’ll be most comfortable, and that group will seek us out, too. Once we’re in that group, we’ll be able to start good work together.